Major events, opening of world-class facilities and international participation of FBMA athletes make up this year's list of achievements
December 26, 2018 – Abu Dhabi, UAE: As 2019 begins, the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) has taken a moment of reflection recently, as the Academy celebrated a number of achievements obtained throughout the Year of Zayed.
Since January 2018, FBMA continued with its mission to improve women's sports in the UAE, by hosting a number of major events and activities across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. One of the most notable events of the year was the opening of the pristine, brand-new Abu Dhabi Ladies Club (ADLC), offering a semi-Olympic-size swimming pool, a training pool, a gym, squash and tennis courts, a health club and spa, a beauty centre and an arts centre. There is also a library, as well as children's sports area.
Equestrian fans were treated once again to the 5th edition of the annual FBMA International Show Jumping Cup in March 2018. The 5th edition of the cup was organized by the FBMA, under the directives of H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairwoman of the FBMA and Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Ladies Clubs, with the support of Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the UAE Equestrian Federation, sponsored by Alshiraa Stables. The event welcomed 147 participants from 29 countries during the three-day event, where families and friends also had the opportunity to enjoy the activity zone, away from the horse-riding action.
The Academy showed no signs of slowing down as the summer approached, offering the FBMA Ramadan “Fittest Group” challenge, along with the 2nd edition of the FBMA Summer Camp. The camp for girls was a month-long summer activity held at the new ADLC. The camp was made available for girls aged 5-15 years old, and featured sports and activities including football, swimming, dance classes, basketball and more.
The Academy ensured that National days of significance were rightfully celebrated throughout the year. The 28th August was also a time in which FBMA celebrated Emirati Women's Day with a series of panel discussions, a fitness sessions and a healthy cooking workshop. Furthermore, FBMA, along with 47 Emirati women, gathered together on 24th November for a fitness inspired event to celebrate both the UAE National Day and the importance of physical health. Taking place in Hatta, Dubai, Emirati women aged 17 and above spent the day taking part in a number of events, along with raising 47 UAE flags ahead of the 47th UAE National Day. The ladies took part in hiking, mountain biking and kayaking, all with the purpose of not just fun, but to understand the importance of team work, overcoming challenge and setting and reaching goals.
The FBMA Elite Athlete Program welcomed the newest addition to its family of athletes, in the form of Fencer, Noora Al Braiki. After FBMA began working with Zahra Al Ali, the Academy remained dedicated to find other local talent – one of the key vision points set when FBMA was first launched. The latest addition, Al Braiki, is just another example of the exceptional talent this country produces. Speaking about her tenure so far with the Academy, she said: “Being selected to be part of FBMA's program is a sign and reward of hard work, and I can't thank the academy enough for this opportunity. 2018 has been the perfect introduction to the program and I can't wait to continue working with FBMA professionals throughout 2019 and beyond.”
Maitha Al Arfi from FBMA, reflected on the year just gone, saying: “2018, or more importantly, the Year of Zayed, was both an exciting and momentous year for FBMA to be active. Hosting a plethora of events, offering women an abundance of sporting activities and doing so with world-class facilities, is testament to our mission of assuring Abu Dhabi's image and status as a women's sports hub, regionally and globally.
“As with every year, we look to build on the previous 12 months to ensure Emirati women have a safe and culturally adequate environment to train and practice sports in, as well as promote, develop and facilitate women's sports in the UAE. And the 2019 calendar certainly reflects this as we look to engage even more with our community.”